Everyone knows that customer service is important. However, most are clueless about how customer service can have a direct impact in their lives. If everyone knows customer service is important, why do most of us only pay lip service to it or adopt a lukewarm attitude towards providing an excellent customer service?
This is a true story that happened today.
I walked into a well-known electrical store with full intention to cart back 2 standing fans that very moment. The spacious outlet was quite empty with just a few lingering customers browsing around; I thought the purchase would be a breeze. I was deadly wrong.
I saw a suitable model but there were no sales consultants there. I looked at the customer service counter and noticed more than 10 sales consultants sitting or standing there, resting or chatting. I waved at them, and gesturing towards my ideal fan, the eager consumer that I was at that time. A few saw me but never bothered to stand up. Then, one with a tie, probably the supervisor, looked at me and then back to his staff, “Hey, someone go help that lady”.A woman in her mid-thirties reluctantly got up and came to me, “Yes, what you want?” There was no smile, no friendliness. I asked for the price and her answer was curt and short, “This one $99, no discount.”ï¿½ Without waiting for me to utter another word, she headed back to her team and start chatting away. Well, I walked out as my money is no good here.
This is so ironic when this store paid its advertising agency an obscene amount of money on TV commercials, full-colour press advertisements, promotional booklets to attract customers and when the customer actually walks in, she is ignored. The marketing communications maxim of “A.I.D.A.” states that your campaign needs Attract attention in order to arouse sufficient Interest to create a Desire to own and thereby induce Action. I was attracted by the sales ad, curious to find out more choices in store, definitely want 2 fans and took time to pop by. Their campaign is successful but it did not make them the sale. In fact, it wasted good money on advertising campaign. What went wrong? Absolutely, definitely, on site customer service!
Customer service is more than a smile, more than acknowledging a customer. These days, products are fast becoming commodities with few differentiations. What would make the distinction is the brand value and customer relationship management. A strong brand is a promise to the customer, it is a differentiating factor that distinguishes your products from other offerings in the market. More importantly, it also enables the company to build customer loyalty as the people will remember the brand and its quality. While CRM creates and sustains customer loyalty as well as promoting customer retention. The core value is in increasing customer value while reducing the cost of sales. And this store just increased it’s cost by ignoring customer!
Customer service concepts aside, I cannot understand how these sales consultants could ignore a customer. Customers are the ones that pay their boss who in turn pay for their salaries, overtime, bonus, commission, medical benefits, insurance, etc. Customers likes to do business with companies that treat them like kings. When a company offers great customer services, not only will customers return but would also spread words among friends and families. Thatâ€™s one contributing factor to how a company is to build to last. When you are nice to others, others will be nice to you. What goes around will come around.
What does customer service depend upon? The company must have customer friendly policies set from the top and these executives must see that the policies are seriously being carried out both internally and externally. If the staff does not know the value of lifelong client is ignorant about how to retain customer loyalty or reluctant to provide that “extra mile”, the sincerity will not shine through the smiles and greetings. Don’t you detest those mechanical and almost robotic words with absolutely no warmth and meaning in them?
More importantly, don’t you just hate it when you went all the way there and had to go back empty-handed?
customer service, why customer service is important, customer service relationship